WHAT IS ALLERGIC ASTHMA?
Asthma is a respiratory condition characterized by inflammation and swelling in the airways that leads to spasms that make it difficult to breathe. Allergic Asthma is a type of Asthma that is caused by an allergic reaction to an allergen and is the most common form of Asthma. Asthma and Allergic Asthma differ in that Allergic Asthma is an immune response where your body releases immunoglobulin E (IgE). It is the excess of IgE that triggers the closing of the pathways in the lungs. Asthma (or non-allergic Asthma) is caused by an irritant or environmental condition and does not trigger a full-blown immune response.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
The same symptoms are present in all types of Asthma and include a tightness in the chest, wheezing and difficulty breathing.
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
Allergic Asthma can be distinguished from other types of Asthma by a skin prick test and blood tests. You may also be asked to take a lung function test where a spirometer is used to measure the total amount of air you can inhale and exhale.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Identifying the allergen that triggers your Allergic Asthma is the first step. Your Gateway Asthma & Allergy Relief doctor will take a detailed medical history and ask when and how often you experience attacks. Once you know what initiates your Allergic Asthma, avoiding the allergen is the best thing to do. Medications, including rescue inhalers containing bronchodilators or steroids, can decrease swelling and inflammation providing relief during or after an attack.